Bees draw blank in home stalemate

Brentford 0 Scunthorpe 0

Brentford’s run without a home win was extended to five matches despite Scunthorpe playing the final 17 minutes with 10 men.

Uwe Rosler’s side struggled to create chances even after the sending-off of Iron defender Andrew Wright and were left to rue an earlier golden opportunity missed by David Clarkson.

The draw at least prevented a third consecutive home defeat and was a marked improvement on the 4-0 drubbing against Huddersfield in their previous match at Griffin Park.

The Bees looked shaky at the back at times – especially during the first half – and keeper Richard Lee had to produce an instinctive early save, clawing away Shane Duffy’s header from Michael O’Connor’s left-wing corner.

Chris Dagnall was then released down the opposite flank by Damien Mozika’s clever pass and crossed for Oliver Norwood, who blazed wastefully over the Brentford bar.

Toumani Diagouraga, making his first home start of the season despite being one of several players affected by a virus, was replaced by Kevin O’Connor just after the half-hour mark.

Diagouraga has been influential since his return to the side, underlining how much his dynamism was at times missed while he was out with a knee injury.

But O’Connor’s introduction helped solidify the home side in midfield, where Scunthorpe were moving the ball around almost at will.

Brentford improved towards the end of the half and had their first significant effort on goal when Niall McGinn’s shot was pushed away by keeper Sam Johnstone.

O’Connor was moved to right-back for the second half after Adam Thompson was replaced at half-time by midfielder Marcus Bean.

And Bean was quickly in the thick of the action as Clarkson missed two good chances to score in the space of a few seconds.

Bean found McGinn on the right and after Clarkson’s slow reaction meant he was unable to meet the on-loan Celtic man’s cross, the ball ran to Craig Woodman, who served up an excellent delivery only for Clarkson to head wide.

It proved to be Clarkson’s final contribution to the game in what may be his final appearance in a Brentford shirt as the striker, playing in the last game of his loan spell from Bristol City, was then replaced by Mike Grella.

Brentford were desperately trying to gain the initiative and were given a helping hand by Wright, who stupidly got himself dismissed for a second bookable offence after chopping down Myles Weston.

It was a needless challenge in more ways than one – because the referee had already whistled to stop the play after awarding Brentford a free-kick for a separate foul just inside the Bees half.

But Rosler’s men were unable to capitalise and almost came unstuck at the other end, where Andy Barcham turned away from Miguel Llera before Lee dived at his feet to save.

The best chance of a late goal fell to Grella, who tamely headed Bean’s cross straight into the arms of Johnstone.